Research findings prompted bosses at Hyundai to call for no major changes to be made when the time came to refresh one of the firm’s best selling models. With results from customer survey sessions carried out across Europe revealing appearance to be the prime factor leading to sales, it’s hardly surprising that the flowing lines introduced three years ago on the second-generation i30 remain largely untouched for the latest versions.
Yet detail alterations can still make a difference – and with a bolder hexagonal front grille, new set of alloy wheels and the addition of jewel-like headlamps, one of the most attractive models in the hotly-contested segment for compact cars now comes with even stronger kerbside appeal.
Less obvious improvements on the inside also contribute to the attempts being made by Hyundai to win a higher perception for the model it is fielding against strong rivals like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra. With the benefit of added sound deadening, a more subdued ride and neater handling, the i30 now behaves in a manner that fully matches its appearance.
Value has always been a traditional strength of the South Korean brand and, though pricing is now more on a par with the competition, specification continues to be generous and air conditioning, cruise control, satellite navigation, rear parking camera and a multi-function steering wheel are all included as standard to make the SE Nav version an interesting proposition for the busy professional driver.
Two versions of the CRDI unit are available, but the least powerful qualifies for a lower VED banding while still offering lively performance and good potential economy returns. Our test car is equipped with Hyundai’s new, seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.